The week's over! You did it, and did it in sensational style. But while you've been off working and living and doing all those things that humans do, what have you missed in the world of comics? With Weekender, ComicsAlliance is here to give you a heads-up on some of the stories that you might have overlooked, and to showcase some great writing on comics for you to enjoy over pancakes this weekend.
Jim Zub and Steve Cummings' Image series Wayward offers readers a fantastical tour of the imagined supernatural underworld of Tokyo, with a cast of young heroes all touched in different ways by mystical forces. It's a fantastically entertaining series that's rooted in the real mythology of Japan, thanks in part to the research of expert monster scholar Zack Davisson, who also provides back-up essays in every issue of Wayward that shed light on Japanese culture and superstitions.
Davisson has been kind enough to share with ComicsAlliance a series of slides detailing the mythological roots of Wayward's many monsters, describing where the monsters come from and showing how they've appeared in both traditional art and in the pages of Wayward. We'll let Davisson explain further, in his own words:
Vertigo's new quarterly anthology series Vertigo SFX sees writers and artists take inspiration from the world of comic book sound effects to tell short stories, starting with the granddaddy of SFX; 'pop'. The first issue is available this Wednesday, April 29th, so we reached out to some of the creators to get a preview of their stories, and to invite them to take our special SFX Q&A.
Today we talk to Nathan Fox, Jim Zub, and Clay Chapman and Szymon Kudranski about the ideas behind their three stories, 'Ekoh', 'Little Medals', and 'Earwing Out', and to find out the sounds they like to wake up to, work to, and relax to. Check back tomorrow when we talk to David Winnick, David Hahn, Robin Furth and Rosemary Valero-O'Connell!
Wayward, the Image ongoing series about a young girl discovering the supernatural underworld of modern-day Japan, kicks off its second arc today with issue #6. The cover for the issue is the first of five that link together to create a single extraordinary panoramic view of some of the series' characters and settings, transitioning from sunset in a junkyard to late night on the streets of Tokyo.
The interlinking covers are an impressive achievement, so to mark the start of the new arc --- and the release today of the first arc in trade paperback --- the creative team of writer Jim Zub, artist Steve Cummings, and colorist Tamra Bonvillain, take us behind the scenes of the creation of their panorama, from conception to completion!
The question most often asked of the ComicsAlliance staff is a variation of, "Which comic books should I be reading?" or, "I'm new to comics, what's a good place to start?" The Wednesday deluge of new comic books, graphic novels and collected editions can be daunting even for the longtime reader, much less for those totally unfamiliar with creators, characters and publishers, and the dark mysteries of comic book shopping like variants, pre-ordering, and formats.
Skullkickers and Wayward author Jim Zub launched a simple hashtag late on Wednesday that turned the comics Twittersphere into a museum of childhood memories, with fans and creators sharing '#fourcomics' that influenced them growing up. With fans of varying ages and experiences sharing issues and series that shaped them as kids or that still influence them today, the hashtag quickly became one of the top trending topics of conversation on Twitter.
ComicsAlliance has collected some examples from comic writers, artists, and cartoonists, but anyone with a Twitter account can contribute their own four comics that shaped them by using the #fourcomics hashtag, and anyone can check out the hashtag to see what everyone is posting. Warning: You will be transplanted back to your earliest comic book memories and feel an irresistible urge to go digging through longboxes for your worn-out favorite comics.
Like everyone else who had eyes, I was a big fan of Samurai Jack when it first showed up on TV. I loved that show, and the visual style and breathtaking animation that took the risk of sparse dialogue and radical shifts in tone were mind-blowing, and in a lot of ways paved the way for a lot of shows that followed. But while I loved the show while it was on, I wasn't so much of a fan that I was really excited about the announcement that it was going to be revived as a comic from IDW. Don't get me wrong, I'm as big a fan of Jim Zub and Andy Suriano as you're likely to find, but I wasn't quite sure how a show that had relied so much on striking, fluid motion for its visual design would make the transition to the relatively static world of comics.
As it turns out, it took to it beautifully, and if you sit down and read the first fifteen issues of the ongoing series, you'll see how well they come together as one vast, epic story that takes Jack in every possible direction -- just like the show.
Conan and Red Sonja are the chocolate and peanut butter of the sword-and-sorcery genre. Wait, no. Now that I write that down, it seems like swords and sorcery would probably be the chocolate and peanut butter of the sword-and-sorcery genre, but you get the idea: They're two characters who tend to go really well together, which makes sense given that they're both characters that have more or less defined the genre since they were created -- particularly in comics.
That's why it shouldn't really be a surprise to anyone that Conan Red Sonja #1, despite a somewhat annoyingly un-punctuated title, reads like it came together effortlessly. Written by Jim Zub and Gail Simone, with art by Dan Panosian and Dave Stewart, the first issue breezes through the mandatory fight before the inevitable team-up in a way that's actually pretty engaging, setting up an adventure that seems every bit as exciting as the two characters deserve. And also just full of belts.
Evil sorcery is a problem for the people of a certain age undreamt of, and apparently it's gotten so bad that one Hyborian hero is no longer enough to stop them. That's why in January, we're getting a team-up in the form of Conan/Red Sonja, in which a pretty fantastic creative team of Gail Simone, Jim Zub and Dan Panosian are teaming up the two heroes to stop -- you guessed it -- evil sorcery.
Here at ComicsAlliance, we're already pretty excited about Jim Zub and Steve Cummings' Wayward. The story of a girl who moves from Ireland to Japan after her parents divorce, only to find herself in a world that's not only culturally different, but also full of supernatural monsters that want to murder her right there on the streets of Tokyo hits that perfect combination of adolescent metaphors and comic book action that I'll always love as a reader.
If, however, you still need convincing before the book's Final Order Cutoff date on Monday, then have a look below for a five-page preview that provides a gorgeous showcase of Cummings' art as Rory arrives in Tokyo. And maybe, if you're good, I might throw something else in for good measure.